Mirror your Android Screen on Your TV Through Chromecast

One of the most requested features asked of Chromecast was the ability to broadcast our phone or tablet’s screen on our TV. Looks like that’ll be finally coming our way!

Announced on the Chrome Blog today, there will be a new menu setting in the Chromecast app allowing you to broadcast what’s on your screen. Through other apps we could send videos, photos, and music, but now we’ll be able to cast a game or even just a home screen if we want to show off on a larger TV screen.

The 1.7 update of the Chromecast app will be rolling out soon supporting popular handsets from LG, HTC, Samsung and more. Nexus devices will of course be able to jump in on the fun too.  Full PR below.

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Spotify Removes Time Limit Caps for Music Streaming

spotify nomorelimits1This one’s short and sweet.

Do you use Spotify? Well now Spotify is removing time limit caps for free accounts across all devices. iOS, Android and through a browser, now all devices have the same access to unlimited music streaming. Super handy.

For those wanting to step up, their premium monthly plans will also remove ads and allow for offline storage, but those of you streaming in your cubicle are in for a treat.

More info at Spotify, or read the PR below:

Continue reading “Spotify Removes Time Limit Caps for Music Streaming”

Microsoft launches Xbox Video and Music apps for Windows Phone

xbox music screenshotFinally some synergy!

When you have good video and music services on your popular game console, and you have a struggling phone platform, how does it take you this long to pair them together? Well wait no more Windows Phone users. If you’re tied into Xbox Music and Xbox Video, you can now utilize those services on your Xbox Windows Phone.

Xbox Music is a subscription service designed to compete against Spotify, Google Play All Access, and Pandora. It’s been available for Android and iOS, and now those of you using Windows Phones can get a piece of the action too.

Xbox Video is the movie purchase/rental service found on Microsoft’s game consoles. Now when you buy or rent films and TV shows you can watch them on your phone, tablet, PC or Xbox. It’s the next step towards total Live Tile domination, offering Windows solutions and services for every single screen a consumer might want.

xbox video screenshot

Again, it’s been a little frustrating seeing how divisive the Microsoft ecosystem had become, with services not moving fluidly between different screen sizes. It’s one area Apple and Google were cleaning up, but now Microsoft looks like it’s finally getting it’s ducks in a row. Microsoft can a dangerous competitor when you give them a chance to catch up.

The branding is crucial here too. Notice these aren’t “Windows” services (what with Windows 8 still struggling to find positive consumer mind share), but “Xbox” services. Not a bad play considering the popularity of the Xbox.

Go get ’em folks!

Xbox Music for Windows Phone (Microsoft App Store)

Xbox Video for Windows Phone (Microsoft App Store)

Youtube Offline Viewing will allow viewers to store video on device for up to 48 hours

somegadgetguy youtube htc one app softwareWe finally have more details!

Announced last month, Youtube will be rolling out an offline mode for Youtube, allowing users to buffer videos on devices to watch later if they don’t have an internet connection, or if you’re trying to be frugal with your data plan. What we didn’t know was how and when this was going to implemented, but now Google’s explaining a bit more.

Through the Youtube app, there will now be an option to allow offline viewing. The videos stored through this setting will stay on the device for up to 48 hours. If the phone or tablet doesn’t connect back to the internet within that time frame, then the videos will no longer be available. For people who operate a Youtube channel, viewing stats will be updated once the device connects to the internet. This service will also work for certain types of Google ads, helping to keep monetized channels paying out.

This is pretty great. There have been a number of times I wished I could buffer videos before taking a flight, or where I might not watch a video because I don’t want to use a ton of data, but I could’ve pre-loaded the video while on WiFi. Google expects the offline mode should be available in November.

And if you aren’t already, you should subscribe to my channel on Youtube, so you can watch all my awesome gadget reviews offline. I’m shameless like that.

(via Youtube FAQ)

Boston Judge Rules Aereo can continue streaming TV over the Internet while awaiting Copyright trial

Scale_of_justice_goldScore one for the little guy.

Currently available in only seven states, Aereo streams TV over the internet for $8 a month. Unlike Hulu or Netflix which have to enter into costly negotiations and pay huge licensing fees for content, Aereo streams basic HD TV, much like you can get on an Over the Air Antenna. The company is able to skirt that expense by pulling a little old school trickery. For every customer who signs up, Aereo operates a separate HD antenna just for them. You’re essentially paying for mobility and cloud storage, the ability to watch TV on any gadget you want, anywhere you have data.

Unsurprisingly, TV networks aren’t thrilled with this business model, and you can imagine the courtroom battles taking place over who owns what, and how content can be distributed. The most recent salvo is a copyright dispute, and leading up to the trial broadcasters filed an injunction to pull the plug on Aereo.

aereo_logoThis morning Boston Judge Nathaniel Gorton refused to grant the injunction, saying in his ruling that Aereo better resembled a DVR, and that Aereo did not resemble other services which illegally rebroadcast content. When elaborating on claims that this service was financially harming broadcasters, Judge Gorton acknowledged that Aereo could pose a long term threat to traditional distribution, but that it didn’t appear to be causing any such harm currently.

Aereo is free to continue operating leading up to the trial, and then there will be another fight to help define the boundaries of digital media and distribution. It’s clear that consumers are increasingly looking for alternatives to their current relationships with carriers and broadcasters.

Read the full court transcript after the jump.

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HBO shows now available for purchase on Google Play, HBO GO no longer needed

Well lookee here.

hbo go google play renting buying tv

If you’re one of those folks who isn’t ponying up the cash for HBO to enjoy their shows on mobile and streaming services like HBO GO, you now have a new option. Announced on the Google Play Twitter account, you can now purchase HBO content on Google Play for your Android and Chromecast streaming enjoyment.


The pricing seems to be competitive with what you would spend on shiny plastic discs, though it does look like there will still be a time delay between when a show is released on disc and on Play. For example, Game of Thrones only goes up to Season 2.

Still, if streaming is your bag, and you want to catch up on what all the buzz is about, you can now get your Android devices into the mix. Now if only we could talk about a standalone subscription option for HBO GO which doesn’t require me to change my cable plan…

HBO shows on Google Play

BBC & Hulu reach deal to stream Doctor Who, Sherlock, and more!

bbc logoI started with Pertwee, but Tom Baker is my all time favorite.

Heads up digital Anglophiles! A ton of BBC content is heading to Hulu. The online streaming services war is just getting heated up. Netflix has an early lead in producing original content, but Hulu should be delivering around 20 new original series by the end of next year. In the meantime, having a catalog of good content is key to enticing new consumers to sign up for the service.

This BBC deal will provide a wealth of high quality content, including Doctor Who, Luther, MI-5 (Spooks), Torchwood, Sherlock, and more. Personally I’m hoping to see some niche shows like Trigger Happy TV and expanding their line up of British reality cooking shows. I’m a sucker for Gordon Ramsey.

No word on how much this deal is going to cost Hulu. It is telling however that BBC productions are finding some strong audiences here in the states. People increasingly investing in quality content regardless of where it’s produced, subscribing to Hulu is probably going to be cheaper for most consumers than expanding their cable or satellite plans to include BBC America…

(via WSJ)

IFA 2013: Sony 4K TV’s and Video Unlimited 4K movie streaming service

What’s the point of having a TV with four times the resolution of HDTV if you don’t have 4K content to watch? Sony gets it. They’re unleashing 4K films and TV episodes on Video Unlimited.

sony the video unlimited 4K movie download ultra hd somegadgetguyThanks to a new video codec, Sony thinks they can pack more movie into a smaller data footprint and claims the upper limit download should be around 60GB. That’s still a terrifically large file however as most of the country struggles to adopt faster broadband. To stream a 4K film, you’d probably need a sustained 15+Mbps connection, which my “50 megs innernet” can sometimes struggle to provide. Damn you lucky people who live in a Google Fiber zone.

Individual TV episodes should run $3.99, movie rentals around $7.99, and $29.99 to buy the films outright. You’ll need to put a Sony 4K Ultra HD Media Player under your TV. This large puck will house 2TB worth of content, which at 60GB per film might not be as many films as we’re used to storing. The FMP-X1 is going to sell for a hefty $700, making it a somewhat pricey home media server. I’m really hoping, for the sake of Sony’s ecosystem, that the PS4 will be able to engage with this content. I don’t want any more boxes under my TV than I need.

That said, I think 4K looks gorgeous, and hopefully we see some good transfers of our fave films. I’ll be much more inclined to give 4K a try than I was during the fight between HD-DVD and Blu-Ray.

sony x850a ultra hd tv somegadgetguy

Of course what fun is talking about 4K content without a 4K TV to watch it on?

Sony took the wraps off of theirX850A series 65″& 55″ XBR Ultra HD TVs. Not only featuring an insane screen resolution, this WiFi enabled set will also come with one year of Netflix and Hulu Plus out of the box. Not a bad little perk for a premium TV. Plus with all those pixels, gamers may appreciate local multi-player without having to go split screen.

The 55″ XBR is expected to ship this October, and you can pre-order now for $3499.99, which really isn’t too bad in terms of high end TV’s.